Notes: Canning optioned; Ohtani vs. Red Sox

July 4th, 2021

ANAHEIM -- The Angels made yet another shakeup to their rotation on Saturday by optioning right-hander to Triple-A Salt Lake. Fellow right-hander Andrew Wantz had his contract purchased from Salt Lake and joined the bullpen as the Angels will skip Canning’s spot in the rotation heading into the All-Star break with an off-day on Thursday.

Canning is coming off a rough outing against the Orioles in which he allowed six runs, including two homers, over 2 2/3 innings in Friday's 8-7 walk-off win. He has a 5.60 ERA with 62 strikeouts, 28 walks and 14 homers allowed in 62 2/3 innings this season.

"We just want to get him back and get him right," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "We didn't see him recapturing his form here right now, particularly fastball command, in general. Everything works off that. Primarily, it's to hit the reset button and go down there and find that fastball command. He's been very inconsistent here and he'll be the first one to tell you that."

It’s the first time Canning has been optioned since making his Major League debut in 2019. He took the news well according to Maddon. The decision to send him down allows Canning to continue to work on his stuff through the All-Star break and then be revaluated from there. Canning could rejoin the rotation after the break if he pitches well, although the club has other options, including veterans Dylan Bundy and José Quintana, who are both currently in the bullpen.

“We’ll let it play out, see how it goes,” Maddon said. “I think it could be anybody."

Wantz, meanwhile, was called up for the first time and was performing well at Triple-A Salt Lake, which is a tough environment to pitch in because of the altitude. Wantz, 25, posted a 2.10 ERA with 25 strikeouts, six walks and two homers allowed in 25 2/3 innings. He's coming off a start on Monday that saw him throw four scoreless innings and 64 pitches. He was brought up to give the Angels length out of the bullpen.

"I just spoke to him, he's a really confident and engaging young man," Maddon said. "He's pitched up to four innings. In his own words, he's been a hybrid starter-reliever. I'm not going to be afraid to throw him out there. He's top of the zone with his fastball and a splitter."

Ohtani on hill Tuesday vs. Boston

Shohei Ohtani will make his next pitching start on Tuesday against the Red Sox, which will be his final outing heading into the All-Star break. It means he’ll have plenty of rest to potentially pitch and hit in the All-Star Game at Colorado’s Coors Field on July 13.

Ohtani's coming off his worst start of the season, allowing seven runs on four walks and two hits while recording just two outs against the Yankees on Wednesday. But Ohtani has pitched much better at Angel Stadium, posting a 1.73 ERA in seven starts compared to a 6.46 ERA in five road outings.

Marsh starts rehab assignment

Outfielder Brandon Marsh, ranked as the club’s No. 1 prospect by MLB Pipeline, began his rehab assignment with the Rookie-level Angels and went 2-for-3 with a homer on Saturday. Marsh had been out for Triple-A Salt Lake since June 1 with right shoulder inflammation.